Lye Brook Falls Is Spectacular

Lye Brook Falls in Manchester, Vermont, is a captivating destination, offering a scenic and family-friendly hiking experience for all to enjoy. After all, who wouldn’t like to stand at the edge of a nearly 150-foot waterfall gloriously cascading down through the verdant Vermont forest?

We have hiked Lye Brook Falls year after year, so throughout this post, we’ve included some “then and now” photos of Peri and Kai enjoying this lovely hike! It’s unbelievable to see how quickly they’ve grown up and exhilarating to see how their hiking skills too have quickly developed!

Embark on this adventure and let the trails’ natural allure and tranquil surroundings instill a love for hiking in your family’s heart because it has certainly done that for us!

If you have any questions/comments about all this, feel free to leave us a comment below. And in the meantime, happy hiking!

Trail Information – Fast Facts

  • Trail Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 4.5 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 1529 feet
  • Duration: 3-4 hours

Trail Description and Points of Interest

Start your journey by venturing through the serene forests leading up to Lye Brook Falls. The trail is a bit rocky at first but really isn’t too bad.

boy hiking on the Lye Brook Falls trail near Manchester Vermont

The trail gently weaves through a canopy of lush greenery, filled with the melodious chirping of birds and the subtle rustle of leaves. Along the path, there will be ample spots for your kids or even you to enjoy some bouldering and natural “jungle gym” features.

to boys bouldering on the trail to Lye Brook Falls
two boys climbing a tree on the trail to Lye Brook Falls

As you make your way to the falls, the trail oscillates back and forth between rocky and a bit difficult to walk on and flat packed dirt and almost effortless to walk on.

toddler hiking on the Lye Brook Falls trail in Manchester, Vermont VT

For safety’s sake, we recommend you use the trail register.

Woman using the trail register at the Lye Brook Falls trail

Soon after, you’ll arrive at the Lye Brook Wilderness Area boundary, and from there forward, no motorized vehicles or equipment is allowed.

Boy standing near the Lye Brook Falls wilderness boundary area

If your kids are like ours, they will likely want to stop to play in the stream that is just a few feet off the trail.

two kids playing in a stream on the Lye Brook Falls trail

There are a few small stream crossings you’ll have to do, but in our experience, they have always been very easy. If you’re at all concerned, bring a pair of hiking poles, and you should be fine.

Eventually, you’ll reach a small sign pointing to the falls, and when you see that, you’ll be moments away from experiencing its spectacular beauty!

woman with baby in backpack pointing to the trail that leads to the Lye Brook Falls

And then of course moments later, you’ll arrive at Lye Brook Falls!

Lye Brook Falls in Manchester, Vermont VT

If you want to take a rest break at the falls, the best place to do it is NOT at the spot where you can experience the above-photographed view.

Instead, carry on to the base of the falls where there are ample flat rocks and places to play.

Mother and infant at the base of Lye Brook Falls
Toddler playing at the bottom of Lye Brook Falls

Ultimately, all along the Lye Brook Falls trail there are splendid photo opportunities but also fascinating learning experiences for children and adults alike, underlining the family-friendly aspect of the Lye Brook Falls trail.

Recommended Gear

Proper preparation ensures a comfortable and enjoyable hike. We recommend you check out our day hiking packing guide, but if you’d like a brief summary, see below.

boy sitting down to take a snack break on the Lye Brook Falls trail

This gear will help your family have a fun and worry-free experience while hiking to Lye Brook Falls.

Family Hiking Safety Tips

Safety is paramount, especially when hiking with your family. Here are some key safety tips to ensure a pleasant hiking experience:

  • Keep children within sight and educate them about trail markers.
  • Stay on marked trails to minimize the risk of getting lost and impact on the environment.
  • Carry a fully charged cell phone and share your itinerary with a friend or family member, not on the hike.
  • Be mindful of the weather conditions.

Implementing these safety measures will ensure a secure and enjoyable hike to Lye Brook Falls.

Trail Head and Route

Begin your hike at the well-marked trailhead located at the end of Lye Brook Access Road in Manchester. The trailhead is easy to find, but if you like to use the GPS coordinates, they are: +43.158936, -73.041171

The trail is clearly marked and relatively straightforward, making it suitable for families. There is one section where the trail becomes a bit steeper, but it’s not long. Follow the designated path, and soon you’ll find yourself at the majestic Lye Brook Falls, the perfect culmination of a delightful hiking experience.

Route Map

If you’ve read any of our other posts, such as the one on the challenging but scenic Blackrock Mountain Trail way down in North Carolina, you likely remember that GuruMaps is our go-to app for navigating while we hike.

If you do decide to download GuruMaps, you can then download our annotated route map (just click one of the file format options in the top right-hand corner of the map below – GPX, KML, or GeoJSON), and then you’ll be able to open that file using GuruMaps. Once it opens, you’ll have our annotated trail map in your own hands.

It sounds like a lot, but it will take you less than a minute.

Our favorite part…

GuruMaps works without WIFI or cell service. So as long as your phone is charged, you’ll be good to go!

If you prefer a Google Map, however, that’s no biggie. Keep in mind, however, it won’t work when you’re at Black Balsam Knob, as at the time of publication, the service up there is quite spotty.

Elevation Profile

Here’s the elevation profile for the Lye Brook Falls Trail, starting and then ending at the parking spot.

Lye Brook Falls Trail in Manchester, Vermont VT elevation profile

Nearby Hikes

If your family is eager to explore more, consider these nearby hiking trails:

  • Equinox Mountain: A more challenging hike offering panoramic views.
  • Prospect Rock: A shorter hike with a rewarding viewpoint.

Explore the mesmerizing beauty of Manchester, Vermont, and make lasting memories with your family as you hike the enchanting Lye Brook Falls trail.

Lye Brook Falls – Conclusion

In conclusion, Lye Brook Falls in Manchester, Vermont is an exceptional and family-friendly hiking destination. The moderate difficulty and captivating scenery make it an ideal choice for families looking to embark on a memorable hiking adventure. Take this chance to explore, enjoy, and bond with your family as you traverse the beautiful paths leading to Lye Brook Falls.


Q: Is the Lye Brook Falls trail pet-friendly?
A: Yes, pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash for their safety and the safety of local wildlife.

Q: What is the best time to hike Lye Brook Falls?
A: The best time to hike Lye Brook Falls is during the spring, summer, and fall when the weather is mild and the natural scenery is at its peak.

Q: Are there any facilities like restrooms at the trailhead or along the trail?
A: There are no restrooms or potable water at the trailhead or along the trail, so plan accordingly before embarking on your hike.

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